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  • Writer's pictureArnold Schroder

#26: Group Mind pt. 5: Everybody Loves a Narcissist

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

(03/06/2021) In this episode, we take a rollicking journey through the minds of narcissists, the emergence of states, and the seemingly intrinsic relationship between authoritarianism and insane belief systems. We explore how individual personality variation affects group dynamics, and in particular, how a certain type of person is to be found in all times and places who wants to be in charge. Relying heavily on Boem's Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior, we examine the notion that egalitarian societies are such because of collective efforts to subdue those with authoritarian tendencies. In this manner, we create a more variable account of human nature, rejecting the notion that sociopolitical structure automatically emerges from a given mode of subsistence, and thus indicate a wide range of potential future societies.

Bibliography for episode 26:

Benedict, R. (2006) Patterns of Culture. Mariner Books.

Boem, C. (2001) Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior. Harvard University Press.

Cascio, C. N., et al. (2005) Narcissists' social pain seen only in the brain. Scan 10:335-341.

Dean, J. W. & Altemeyer, R. (2020) Authoritarian Nightmare: Trump and His Followers. Melville House.

Ember, C. R. (2020) Hunter-Gatherers. In Ember, C. R., ed. Explaining Human Culture. Human Relations Area Files,

Graber, D. (2004) Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology. Prickly Paradigm Press.

Lachman, G. (2018) Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump. TarcherPerigee.

Lee, R. B. (1984) The Dobe !Kung. Holt Rinehart and Winston.

Nenadic, I., et al. (2014) Brain structure in narcissistic personality disorder: a VBM and DTI pilot study. Neuroimaging. DOI: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.11.001

Schulze, L., et al. (2013) Gray matter abnormalities in patients with narcissistic personality disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Scott, J. C. (2017) Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States. Yale University Press.

Ward, C. & Voas, D. (2011) The Emergence of Conspirituality. Journal of Contemporary Religion 26(1):103-121.

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